Seventh-seeded Missouri had second-seeded Vanderbilt on the ropes Wednesday in second-round action during the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
Buoyed by a four-run fifth inning, the Tigers had a comfortable lead entering the seventh inning before the Commodores’ bats awoke.
Vanderbilt slugged three of their four home runs in the closing frames in rallying for a 7-6 victory in 10 innings.
Sophomore Jake Ring and freshman Brett Bond each had RBI singles, junior Josh Lester added a sacrifice fly and freshman Shane Benes plated another run with a fielder’s choice grounder during a four-run fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie.
It seemed like that would be plenty for Missouri junior right-hander Peter Fairbanks, who struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings, scattering three hits and two walks and allowing only two runs.
The bullpen couldn’t hold the lead, dropping Missouri to the loser’s bracket for a 9:30 a.m. elimination game Thursday against Alabama.
Commodores freshman Jeren Kendall smacked a two-run seventh-inning home run.
An inning later, junior Dansby Swanson cracked a solo homer, his second of the game.
After an unearned run tied the game in the ninth, junior Rhett Wiseman completed the comeback with a walk-off solo shot in the 10th.
Ring, who played freshman Penn Murfee’s liner off his knee in allowing the game-tying run to score with two outs in the ninth, got a glove on Wiseman’s wall-scraper, but couldn’t keep it in the ballpark.
Sophomore Ryan Howard and Bond staked Missouri, 30-27, to a two-run lead with first-inning RBIs singles, but junior Dansby Swanson leveled things for Vanderbilt, 40-17, with a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning.
Missouri is winless in 10 games against Vanderbilt since joining the SEC and missed a chance to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume.
Freshman ace Tanner Houck (8-4, 3.40 ERA) is expected to start for the Tigers against the Crimson Tide.